Disney World is about 1,400 miles away from Wichita, but fans won’t have to travel that far this weekend to see their favorite characters as “Disney on Ice: Treasure Trove” skates into Intrust Bank Arena.
Last week, we spoke by phone with ice skater Merissa Horkoff, who plays Snow White. The Calgary-born performer started skating at age 3, and after a career in competition skating, she joined Disney. Treasure Trove marks her ninth year with Disney on Ice.
Q: Tell me a little about Disney on Ice Presents ‘Treasure Trove.’
A: The idea behind the show is that we opened up the Disney vaults, the treasure chest of Disney stories, and we tell nine different stories, beginning with Disney’s first treasure, “Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs,” all the way to the 50th, which is “Tangled.” And we’ll stop everywhere in between. You’ll see “Alice in Wonderland,” “Peter Pan” with Tinkerbell. You’ll see all the characters from “The Lion King,” “The Little Mermaid,” “Aladdin” and “The Princess and the Frog.”
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Q: So ‘Treasure Trove’ is more like a greatest hits of various Disney stories rather than a singular plot.
A: Yes, definitely. We feature nine different stories and over 50 different Disney characters. So there really is something for everyone. It’s a great show for the whole family. I think we tell some of the more classic stories like “Alice in Wonderland” and “Peter Pan” that were more popular maybe when the parents were kids, as well as recent stories like “Tangled” and “Princess and the Frog.” The little kids get into that.
Q: What’s it like playing Snow White? Do you approach the character more as an ice skater or more as an actor?
A: It is definitely a combination of both. I think Disney on Ice is a very cool way to bring the Disney characters to life through figure skating. So I grew up figure skating back in Canada, and I competed until I was 18 and then went on the road with Disney on Ice. Through competition, I had some performance background, but I definitely have learned some acting skills over the years. I think it’s cool that we can bring these Disney characters to life and travel all over for kids who might not have had the opportunity to go to Disney World or Disneyland. We bring the characters to them. Not only that, but we bring them to life on the ice, which maybe could inspire them in figure skating as well.
Q: What’s it like having to skate in costume or with someone in a massive costume like the Beast? I would assume it’s a challenge.
A: The costumes are the biggest part of Disney on Ice, that’s what transforms you into a character. So I think we think about it in that perspective. When I competed, I had my little skating dresses, and the Snow White has a lot longer skirt and everything like that. But you feel like a princess when you put it on. And it’s cool when you look into the audience and you see all the little kids dressed up as their favorite Disney characters. … I love seeing that.
Q: How did you become involved with Disney on Ice?
A: My last year that I was competing, I just sent in a video to Disney on Ice, along with every other school application and job application. I considered my skating something that I had worked very hard on and a skill that I have. So I sent in a video to the casting director, and they e-mailed back. I had a spot on the “High School Musical” production nine years ago. So that was cool. Since then I loved it and stuck with it.
Q: Any final thoughts on what fans can expect soon at Intrust Bank Arena?
A: It’s a great family outing. It’s going to keep small attention spans busy for a full two hours. It’s great for little kids, Mom, Dad, Grandma and Grandpa. The whole family will find something in the show that they enjoy.
‘Disney on Ice: Treasure Trove’
When: 7 p.m. Fri.; 11 a.m., 3 p.m. and 7 p.m. Sat.; 1 and 5 p.m. Sun.
Where: Intrust Bank Arena, 500 E. Waterman
Tickets: $20-$70, selectaseat.com, 855-755-7328